“Not my job,” this is the declarations of Google engineers when it came to the Wifi data collection done by Google’s Street View project — revealed through a trove Google documents related to a federal investigation of its Street View.
Although the project was intended to photograph the world’s streets, from 2007 to 2010 Google gathered unencrypted Internet data from wireless networks, including the content of private communications, as its specially equipped cars passed through neighborhoods.
Also on Tuesday, Google confirmed that the Information Commissioner’s Office in Britain had reopened its investigation of the Street View project and had asked the company for additional information about the data it collected there.
Among the documents released Tuesday are sworn declarations by nine people — their names and titles redacted but most of whom appear to be Google engineers — one person whose job was to review the computer code that operated the data collection program said that while he checked syntax and debugged the code, he had “no recollection of reviewing the Wi-Fi project design document” and that “it was not part of my duties to do so.”
Another engineer said, “I am aware there was a design document prepared for the Wi-Fi collection, but I do not recall reading it.”
And, the engineer who specifically was responsible for writing the code for the data collection did stated that he “specifically told two engineers working on the project, including a senior manager, about collecting payload data.” But this project was done during this employees 20% time and thus a side project that other employees might not be aware of or care about.
A Google spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker, said the failure by multiple engineers to review the project was “a mistake,” adding, “Clearly there was a process breakdown.”
Also, a recent study by Evidon, who released its Top 25 Most Prolific Trackers list — reveals that when it comes to tracking users, Google and Facebook tops the list.
For the study, Evidon monitored tracking cookies using their Ghostery browser plug-in and analyzed the data collected to compile a list of the 25 companies most tracking users.
“Google took the top two positions with its Google Analytics and AdSense programs, as well as the fourth spot with the Google +1 button. While, Facebook’s Social Plugins are the third most prolific tracking device and Facebook Connect comes in fifth,” according to the study.
Twitter came apeared as the Big 3.
More alarming for users are the advertisers using tracking cookies to retarget consumers -as the list of the Top 10 Advertisers Tracking Your Every Move, Google once again reigns supreme with its AdSense, DoubleClick, and AdWords Conversion are all in the top 3, rounded out by QuantCast and OpenX.
According to W3Techs survey, as of June 2012, “55.8 percent of all websites on the Internet used Google’s free analytics program.” That means, roughly speaking, every second click on a link anywhere in the world is monitored by that service.
“Equally impressive to the usage figure is the 81.5% market share of Google Analytics amongst the web analytics tools.”
See this infographic “Who is using Google Analytics JUne 12”:
Here is the full copy of Google document: